A family is being investigated after reportedly contaminating a Brazilian waterfall and river with blue dye in an outrageous gender reveal stunt.
Viral videos of the over-the-top stunt last Sunday in the state of Mato Grosso caught the attention of environmental officials, according to several media reports.
The stunt was a violation of Brazil’s federal environmental law, a spokesperson for Mato Grosso’s environment protection agency told The Washington Post.
An unidentified family member behind the stunt is being charged with harming the environment, and an ongoing investigation will determine penalties and fees, according to the agency.
Investigators will “determine if there was environmental damage, depending on the material released into the water,” Brazil’s environmental authority SEMA (Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente do Mato Grosso) noted in a statement translated by Gizmodo.
As of Monday investigators found “no change in the water’s physical parameters, such as color and other, and no trace of local fish mortality,” according to SEMA.
Nevertheless, the agency said dumping a substance into the water “constitutes an infraction” under Brazilian law, and penalties can be as high as the equivalent of $9,300.
The 59-foot-tall waterfall is located in the town of Tangará da Serra, a popular area for eco-tourism. The waterfall spills into the Queima Pé river, which is an important fresh water source for the community, which has been struggling with severe drought.
Most people responding to the video on social media were outraged by the “gender reveal,” an event that is increasingly pitting couples against one another to present the most narcissistically outrageous, often reckless, extravaganzas.
Last year, a California couple was charged with manslaughter after the smoke bomb they used in a gender reveal party sparked a massive wildfire. A gender reveal stunt off the coast of Mexico last year also ended in tragedy when a plane announcing the baby’s sex crashed into the sea, killing two people who were on board.
“So many ways to do a gender-reveal party and they chose just the one that has an environmental impact,” Vanessa Costa, a Brazilian forestry engineer and content creator, wrote on Twitter.
She added in an Instagram post: “The act of dyeing the water is pollution. You are polluting those waters, and that’s an environmental impact,” she said.
Another wrote: “Who needs drinking water when you have ‘likes’?”
“What happened to cutting into a cake? Why does nature keep getting damaged because these people think they’re special?” one critic on social media responded to the waterfall stunt, reported The Independent.